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Netherlands

Veterans Day: Over 100,000 veterans honored in The Hague

More than 100,000 veterans who have dedicated their lives to peace since World War II were honored again in The Hague this Saturday on Veterans Day. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Veterans Day National Committee Chairman Jaap Smit delivered speeches. Due to the renovation of the Binnenhof, various activities had to be carried out elsewhere in the city.

Therefore, the opening ceremony, normally held in the Riddersaal, was held at the Koninkreike Schouburg, and about 70 veterans received their medals at the Escher Museum in Het Palais, Lange Voorhout. As in previous years, King Willem-Alexander leads the parade across the Kneuterdijk. Nearly 4,000 veterans and military personnel are expected to march. In addition, 18 historic and modern aircraft fly over The Hague on so-called flybys.

“For a long time it seemed unthinkable that war would break out on our continent. We were wrong,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in his Veterans Day speech.

“European peace has never been under more pressure since World War II,” he continued. “And the importance of a well-equipped army has never been clearer.”

The prime minister noted that Dutch soldiers make an important contribution to the peace, freedom and security of many countries. “For example, by training and educating Ukrainian colleagues. In this way, they contribute to making a difference in this terrible war that should have only one outcome: Ukraine wins. I hope that your Ukrainian colleagues will succeed.”

Rutte said veterans know what that means. “You know how much dedication this requires from people, and you also know that without that dedication it wouldn’t happen. I know, thank you for that,” he said.

Mariefeld hosts all kinds of activities throughout the day. Among other things, the public can talk to veterans there and ride an F16 simulator. A total of around 80,000 visitors are expected in The Hague.



https://nltimes.nl/2023/06/24/veterans-day-100000-veterans-honored-hague Veterans Day: Over 100,000 veterans honored in The Hague

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